George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Stephen Hooper, 29 January 1791

From Stephen Hooper

Newbury Port [Mass.] Jany 29th 1791


Awed by a sense of your Dignity, it is with extreme reluctance that a Citizen of Newbury Port in the County of Essex & state of Massachusetts, presumes to crave a Moment of your Excellencys Attention, or trouble you with his sollicitations.

from late information, that Congress are progressing in a new System of Excise to increase the Revenue of the United states and if establish’d, Officers will be necessary to inspect the same; I have assum’d the Liberty of tendering my best services to my Country in that Line—and should your Excellency find my Abilities equal & my Character as worthy as any who may have applied for such an Office; the preference, your Excellency may deem proper to bestow on me, will stimulate me to honour the appointment, and most gratefully to acknowledge the favor.

impress’d with a sense of my presumption in applying thus late for your Excellencys favor, I beg humbly to alledge, that an ignorance of such Office being establish’d, and a natural timidity of addressing your Excellency on the subject, have been the Reasons for so late an Application, which I fear may have had the appearance of a deficiency of Respect for so august a Character. I am sir with sentiments of the most profound Respect Your Excellencys most Obedient & most Humble servant

Stephen Hooper


Stephen Hooper (c.1740–1802), a Newburyport merchant, outfitted privateers and sold supplies to the army during the Revolution. During and after the Revolution he was an occasional business partner of Tristram Dalton, senator from Massachusetts in the First Congress (Columbian Centinel [Boston], 20 Jan. 1802; Currier, History of Newburyport, description begins John J. Currier. History of Newburyport, Mass., 1764–1905. Newburyport, Mass., 1906. description ends 535, 627, 639). Hooper received no appointment from GW. The appointment as excise inspector for the second survey of Massachusetts went instead to Jonathan Jackson, a Newburyport merchant.

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